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|Title:||OKWIRE’SHON:’A, THE FIRST STORYTELLERS: RECOVERING LANDED CONSCIOUSNESS IN READINGS OF TREES & TEXTS|
|Keywords:||Indigenous Studies, Indigenous Literature, Ecocriticism, Landed Pedagogy, Indigenous Methodologies, Rotinonhsonni, Haudenosaunee, Trees|
|Abstract:||Okwire’shon:’a, or trees of the forest, guide the methodology and epistemology of my doctoral research. The Rotinonhsonni creation history tells us that all life is made from the clay of the earth (Mother Earth or First Woman), and therefore everything in Creation shares an origin in and a connection to the earth. Thus, Rotinonhsonni thoughtways understand trees to be part of an interconnected network of land-based knowledge that spans from time immemorial to the present. As extensions of First Woman, trees are literally my relations, my ancestors. While onkwehonwe (original peoples) have long been able to tap into the knowledge of the land (and many still do), colonialism has significantly disrupted our landed and place-based relationships and consequently our ability to read the land. This, in turn, disrupts the ability of onkwehonwe to live within the principles of Kayanerekowa. My dissertation explores, through juxtapositions of Rotinonhsonni oral histories, contemporary Indigenous literature, and a series of trees, the possibility of (re)learning to read and communicate with the land. Using a trans-Indigenous methodology, my project examines three branches of land-centered philosophy within Indigenous literature: enacting creation stories; spirit agency; and internalized ecological holism. By reading different Indigenous texts across from Rotinonhsonni epic teachings, my trans-Indigenous methodology affirms Indigenous alliances with the environment and with each other, their long-standing presence on and stewardship of the land, and the value and validity of knowledge that is ancestral, adaptive, and alive. I argue that by carrying forward land-centered knowledge contemporary Indigenous literature stimulates an awareness of the land and nonhuman societies as cognizant and in communication with us. Renewing relations and modes of relationality to the land in this way re-energizes Kayanerekowa, and has the potential to strengthen Indigenous efforts for self-determination, knowledge resurgence, land reclamation, and nation-to-nation alliances.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Debicki_Kaitlin_SJ_finalsubmission201709_PhD.pdf||1.85 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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